Described as "bright" and "stylish" by Opera News, American soprano Sarah Fleiss is currently pursuing her Master's degree at the Curtis Institute of Music. This season, she sings the Vixen in Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen and in Handel's L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Curtis Opera Theater. She also sings the final trio of Der Rosenkavalier under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. She makes some exciting debuts as the soprano soloist in the Fauré Requiem with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, as well as in Poulenc's Gloria and Dvořák's Te Deum with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. She also sings in the Pergolesi Stabat Mater and in the Ned Rorem Memorial Concert at Curtis, and brings a recital of Alma and Gustav Mahler, Clara and Robert Schumann, Libby Larsen, de Falla, and Bellini to Core Memory Music in Rhode Island and to Young Musicians Musicale in Philadelphia.
Over the 2022/23 season, she sang Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante under the baton of David Stern and with the Tempesta di Mare orchestra. This summer, she travelled to Houston for the HGO Young Artist's Vocal Academy and to Switzerland to attend the Atelier Lyrique at the Verbier Festival where she worked closely with pianist James Baillieu and participated in masterclasses with Lise Davidsen, Thomas Hampson, Véronique Gens and James Garnon. She recently went on tour with Eric Owens and members of the Curtis Opera Theater, singing the Brahms Neue Liebeslieder Op. 65, among other art song and operatic repertoire. Along with Curtis Ensemble 20/21, she premiered In the Fields, a song cycle written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Tania León and performed in a recital along with one of the world's most sought-after collaborative pianists, Warren Jones. An avid recitalist, she has performed the works of composers including Barber, Britten, Fauré, Purcell, Schubert, Shostakovich, and Strozzi, among many others.
In the 2021/22 season, she attended the Music Academy of the West as a studio artist, sang Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, Milli in the world premiere of 24 (La cura per-amore). In partnership with the Temple Institute on Disabilities and SoundLab, she sang the world premiere of Robert Whalen’s Lost Time, an art song compiling the words of people who use Voice Assistant Technology. A lover of electronic music, she also had the privilege of interviewing DJ Alfred Darlington- better known as Daedelus- on the topics ranging from humans desire for connection to the primordial nature of music. She has also sung in masterclasses with Sonia Prina, Dolora Zajick, Golda Schultz and Julia Bullock.
Sarah was named the winner of the 2023 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, the emerging artist winner of the Rochester Oratorio Society Competition and the 2022 1st Prize winner of the Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarship by the National Society of Arts and Letters. She has received grants from the George London Foundation, Voce di Meche, and Gerda Lissner Foundation, and encouragement awards from the Opera Index Foundation and Camile Coloratura Awards.
Prior to Curtis, Sarah attended Columbia University and the Juilliard-Exchange program. At Columbia, she sang Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with the Columbia New Opera Workshop, and narrated Stravinsky’s L'Histoire du soldat. She also has performed around New York City various in musical theater and cabaret-style performances, including with the Irish Repertory Theatre and at NYU.
With an extensive background in musical theatre, she strives to have a broad artistic approach, straddling repertoire not only within opera, recital, and early music, but to multimedia and electronic music as well.
"As an artist, I feel it is my responsibility to do justice to the wishes of the great composers, librettists, and poets. Through this process, I strive to illustrate the fundamental essence of what it means to be alive."
Ginevra │ Ariodante │ Curtis Opera Theater